West Norfolk Rowing Club enter Peterborough Regatta
West Norfolk Rowing Club were racing slightly closer to home this week on the rowing lake at Peterborough, offering up to four lanes of side-by-side 1000m races.
The club entered three boats into the competition: a single scull, a women’s quad and a men’s quad.
The weather was hot but with an increasing gusty tail or cross-wind developing through the day, which played its part.
In a repeat of the Nottingham Regatta the club’s day was started with Simon Prior rowing in a heat of the Masters D single scull category.
On this occasion he was competing against a very experienced rower from York and a contemporary from Loughborough Rowing Club.
The race was won early by the York rower, but there was all to fight for as the second finisher would gain a place in the additional repechage race, still with a chance of progressing to the final.
Prior raced neck-and-neck with the Loughborough sculler for 800m, and found an extra gear in the final phase to pull ahead and win by three-quarters of a boat length.
He then had two hours to rest before competing again.
In gusty conditions, Prior took to the course again for the MasD.1x repechage and his chance to secure a place in the final later in the day.
One sculler had withdrawn through injury, so it was a two-boat race between Prior and a rower from Ardingly Rowing Club.
Prior got off to an excellent start and led by half a boat length until 400m down the course when the wind took him towards the lane markers. He caught his blade and lost all advantage.
There was too much to make up and, although finishing in a personal best time of 4 minutes 17 seconds and an improvement from the heat, it was not enough to see him progress to the final.
Also in action were the women’s coxless quad of Helen Pryer, Liz Palmer, Amy Shore and Carol Rose.
Shore was a late addition to the crew and it was also her first race of any sort, but preparations had gone well.
After a technical issue at the start, the crew found their rhythm and pace in the second 500m, and showed their potential, gaining on the second and third placed crews in the latter stages of the race.
The last West Norfolk Rowing Club entry was some five hours later with the Masters E men’s coxless quad, crewed by Stuart Porter, Steve Venables, Doug McNeil and Alistair Mackie.
The wind, by then gusting up to 30 miles-per-hour, proved difficult for the bigger boats to maintain course in the first part of the race.
But the West Norfolk crew then made good progress and were pleased to keep in contact with the third-placed Peterborough crew.
West Norfolk finished only a few seconds behind in a decent time of 4 minutes 14 seconds.
Another regatta showing good progress for West Norfolk’s rowers, who are looking forward to a busy summer of racing.